19

Years ago we created PDF documents from published Tridion content, but turned it off due to poor performance. The name "FOP Tool" rings a bell.

Have things moved on at all? What is the best method to now offer a "create PDF" call to action that generates a document that may be styled slightly differently to the web page.

  • what should your PDF contain exactly, all the content of the current Page, or should it more be a PDF created based on a Component on the Page (so only partial content of the actual web page)? – Bart Koopman Jun 5 '13 at 15:56
12

We have recently implemented a solution to publish PDFs and PowerPoint slides from a given component type.

There is an extension available on sdltridionworld that helps generate PDFs: http://sdltridionworld.com/community/extension_overview/pdf_creator.aspx

However, we created our own because we needed some advanced PDF generation features. So we relied on the DynamicPDF framework: http://www.dynamicpdf.com/ and integrated it into a C# TBB.

If you want to go all out, then have a look at the Tridion InDesign Connector: http://sdltridionworld.com/releases/release_news/connector_2009_for_indesign_released.aspx

9

We have had some success with http://pdfcrowd.com/

You can just output a link like this <a href="http://pdfcrowd.com/url_to_pdf/">Convert this page to a PDF</a> e.g. Convert this page to a PDF, and it will convert the current page to a PDF. It's also free (with a small watermark).

More details here: http://pdfcrowd.com/save-to-pdf/

8

Since you seem to want to do this on the delivery side, and with the requirement that it

generates a document that may be styled slightly differently to the web page

then I have to assume that your content is published in some sort of structured data format. You can, as before, use XSL:FO for this, or use something more advanced like wkhtmltopdf or paid tools like html2pdf or whatever else you fancy.

Depending on implementation parameters, I tend to prefer generating the PDF at publish time (since it saves CPU cycles on the delivery tier, and I have the whole object model to work with), but what tool to use for this is really up to you.

8

Following are few options I have worked on or aware about:

  • iTextSharp - Most versatile. Used it for creating multipage, multi-language heavy content and graphics reports. Biggest advantage is that it is open source and can be changed to next level
  • wkhtmltopdf - Used it recently, all looks good but have faced issues with Custom Fonts
  • ExpertPDF - Good to use but scalability will be a problem and might give you poor performance for a bulk of pages
  • QuickPDF Library - Easy to use and provide methods to direct manipute/integrate with HTML
  • ABCpdf - Easy to use and provide methods to direct manipute/integrate with HTML
  • DynamicPDF - You may want to explore this, No experience with this
  • PDFSharp - Open source .NET based solution for creating decent PDFs from HTML but not good for report (or report level PDF generation)

I hope it helps.

7

Not sure about any performance issues with Apache FOP (which is what you meant I guess) and if they have been solved in the reset releases. So you might want to check that out yourself.

As for alternatives, there is iText (and its C# counterpart iTextSharp), this is basically a relatively easy to use PDF library (which can create and manipulate PDF documents). Add to that Flying Saucer and you have a tool which can render XHTML to PDFs. And there are also a bunch of online services which can handle this like html2pdf.

I haven't seen any new (open source) extensions in our community lately unfortunately (other than this PDF creator using Apache FOP).

  • I've seen iTextSharp work for both on-the-fly generation (based on XML published from Tridion) and batch nightly jobs reading XML files. If I could revisit this, I'd look at generation during publish or adjusting visitor expectations on the delivery side. – Alvin Reyes Jun 6 '13 at 23:52

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